LAST week - although it already feels a lifetime ago - the government suffered a humiliating defeat as the Brexit deal was overwhelmingly voted down.

It was clear the deal was dead and Theresa May would have to come back to Parliament this week to outline the way forward.

So we watched with interest as the prime minister stood up in the House of Commons on Monday to set out her drastically reworked deal.

As it turned out, Plan B sounded an awful lot like Plan A.

Apparently Wales - as well as our friends in Scotland - will get an “enhanced role” in discussions going forward - whatever that means. Forgive me if I’m not terribly optimistic that a government which has shown no desire to take the views of Wales and Scotland into account is going to suddenly listen to what we have to say.


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Yes, the £65 fee EU citizens were going to have to pay to apply for settled status has been ditched, and anyone who’s already paid it will get their money back - good news, sure, and at least a few good headlines for the government.

But apart from that? Nothing, it appears, has changed.

This is a shockingly arrogant position from a government which just a week ago suffered one of the biggest defeats in Parliamentary history.

Rather than taking the approach of developing a new deal everyone - or at least enough people - can agree on, the prime minister appears to be taking the approach of “it’s that or nothing”.

To say this is a risky approach is putting it mildly. There’s a chance - a very, very slim one - that a sufficient number of MPs will blink and get on board with the deal to avoid a no-deal Brexit.


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But the scale of opposition to the deal means this is, at best, deeply unlikely. More realistically, there’s more chance of Boris Johnson getting a tattoo of Che Guevara.

So, in reality, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that we’ll be leaving Europe in to months time without a deal. While there’s a few people who will tell you this is fine and the United Kingdom will begin a new era of glorious prosperity, with everyone queuing up to make lucrative new trade deals with us, in reality this will be an utter disaster which will leave us adrift in a world which doesn’t really care what happens to us.

If there’s one thing the prime minister has got right it’s that a second referendum is not the way forward - to hold a second vote on an issue we’ve already voted on risks invalidating the entire democratic process.

Yes, the result of the referendum was deeply questionable, but it’s hardly the first to be called into question. There were serious questions around George W Bush’s election in 2000, and he still got to be president for eight years.

So there’s only one solution - and that’s to delay Article 50.

And this needs to happen now.


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Little to no preparation has been done for leaving without a deal, so any government which was serious about running a country would say they need more time to get this right.

To their credit, at least the Welsh Government has begun putting measures in place to cope with a no-deal - although how much these will actually make a difference remains to be seen.

As it stands, we're headed for the worst possible outcome, with any opportunities there were of leaving the EU squandered in the name of political stubbornness. It's time for the prime minister to act like a leader and put a hold to Article 50.

It won't be a popular move, but being a leader means making an unpopular decision for the right reasons.

We're relying on you, Mrs May.

Please, please don't let us down.